Lance Stroll has welcomed new Williams team-mate Sergey Sirotkin with open arms and is keen to form a solid working partnership to benefit his and the team’s 2018 Formula 1 campaign.

The Canadian driver has been thrust forward as the lead Williams driver in just his second F1 season after the announcement of Sirotkin as Felipe Massa’s replacement for 2018 having beaten Robert Kubica in the driver assessment.

Stroll, who is three years younger than his rookie team-mate, is eager to build to “close working relationship” with Sirotkin having endured an indifferent partnership with Massa in his rookie year as the Brazilian had previously hinted at financial reasons behind driver selections in F1.

“I would like to welcome Sergey to Williams and I am looking forward to having him as my team-mate,” Stroll said. “I know Sergey and I am sure we will very quickly form a close working relationship. 

“I really enjoyed my rookie season with the team, and there were a number of memorable highlights, on which I’ll look to build on in the coming season. I’m looking forward to Barcelona, and driving the new FW41 for the first time.”

Having become the youngest-ever F1 rookie podium finisher with third place at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix and the youngest-ever front row starter which came at last year’s Italian Grand Prix, Stroll is keen to build on his flashes of success with stronger consistency for the upcoming campaign. The Canadian teenager finished 12th in the final F1 World Drivers’ Championship last year – just three points and one place behind Massa.

Williams heads into the 2018 F1 season with the youngest and most inexperienced driver combination on the grid, with Stroll’s 20 race starts last year the only prior race knowledge to lean upon. As a result Kubica is set to play a key role as Williams reserve and development driver to help the British team get up to speed this year.



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